Cheap 4K Monitors Aren't Good for Photography

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It’s Cyber Monday, which means the holiday buying free-for-all continues on, and one deal we’ve been seeing all over the place today is a 28-inch 4K monitor for just $299. For some, it’s a good deal, but if you’re serious about photography, your money may be better spent elsewhere.

The big reason here is that the monitor isn’t IPS (short for In-Plane Switching). Without going too far into the technology behind it, the arrangement of the pixels in an IPS display often provide much more accurate color performance than the alternative. And, as you know, color is a pretty important piece of the photography puzzle.

If you do a basic web search for monitors right now, there are actually some IPS monitors you can buy for pretty cheap. Of course, you won’t get that massive 4K resolution, but a 27-inch 1080p monitor is still pretty beastly. And while it would be nice to look at a photo at nearly full-res and still have room for all your editing tools around it, accuracy still takes priority.

Also, the 30 Hz refresh rate on that Dell monitor makes it pretty much a no-go for video editing beyond the most casual cuts.

Now, don’t get confused and think I’m saying the Dell is a “bad” monitor, because it almost certainly isn’t, I’m just saying you can probably get more for your buck if photography is your main concern. Monoprice has a great 27-inch monitor that hangs around $400 regular price and will likely treat you much better. But still, share any deals you may find in the comments!